Updated: Apr 29, 2020
In a moment of uncertainty, be sure no one around you is alone. Including you.
Getting things done matters now. But making sure we're all OK matters more. Let's talk about that.
Our collective attention is largely occupied right now by one thing. The Beetlejuice-lover in me prefers not to name it. Our attentions are well placed. Our physical wellbeing depends on our being informed. But in our quest to maintain distance, safety, and physical health, we may be disconnecting - from each other and from our emotional needs. There's no one right way to do this. But some food for thought - because relationships matter now more than ever.
What do you need now?
You want to keep your head above water at work. Fair enough. But recognize that - amidst this chaos - we're not going to get everything done. So prioritize more ruthlessly than ever before. Do the work you absolutely must. And then step back and ask yourself what you need.
Is there someone whose voice you haven't heard in awhile - an old friend, a grandparent, a niece? Would reaching out to chat serve to fuel you?
Are you experiencing anxiety? Is there a friend, an expert, a therapist whose counsel could really soothe and serve you?
Do you need simply to connect with nature, a pet, or a favorite book from your childhood?
Being connected may look different - for each person, or even in each moment. But don't lose sight of your needs which matter at least as much as the work you're doing.
What does someone around you need?
You may have some colleagues that are overwhelmed by working from home with spouses and children and animals lurking in every corner. And you may have others who are living alone and feeling incredibly isolated right now. Both of those experiences are real and valid.
Whether you're a leader, colleague or friend, these aren't yours to fix. But you can be an ear, a shoulder, a source of connection or release.
Who around you - on your team, in your reporting line - could use a few minutes of your time? You don't need to plan too far ahead - maybe they need a safe space in which to vent. Maybe they need a funny and distracting story. Maybe they just want to hear how you're doing, because that makes them feel less lonely. Just taking a few moments out of your day to reach out to someone can go a long way. For both of you. There is nothing more leaderly right now than just checking in. And if you need something in exchange, don't be afraid to ask for it.
Not sure where to turn?
Turn here. I'm listening. How can I help? This is a scary, stressful, overwhelming time. Know that whatever you're experiencing, you're not alone. Take care, stay in touch - with me or with someone.